Welcome to the Data Visualisation with R Workshop!

This workshop is organised by Statistical Society of Australia and delivered by Prof Di Cook and Dr Emi Tanaka.

About the workshop:

Data visualisation is a key statistical tool for effective communication and to understand aspects of data and models. The statistical language R is used widely for data analysis and visualization, e.g. the BBC Visual and Data Journalism team uses ggplot2 R-package to create production-ready charts. This workshop (on Day 1) will teach you how to create production-ready graphics using the grammar of graphics implemented in ggplot2 R-package. In addition, the workshop (on Day 2) will teach you how to construct more complex plots, including maps, and discuss inference for statistical graphics to understand if what we see in a plot is really there. The workshop will be hands-on with plenty of practical examples.

About the presenters:

Dianne Cook is Professor of Business Analytics at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She is a world leader in data visualisation, especially the visualisation of high-dimensional data using tours with low-dimensional projections, and projection pursuit. She is currently focusing on bridging the gap between exploratory graphics and statistical inference. Di is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, past editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, current editor of the R Journal, elected Ordinary Member of the R Foundation, and elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Emi Tanaka is a Lecturer in Statistics at Monash University and the incoming President of SSA Vic. She is currently working on a statistical theory for conducting inference using data plots and is an early career researcher in multi-level modelling, and experimental design. She is an experienced and enthusiastic R user and instructor, and regularly teaches university courses and workshops to the broader community on data visualisation, including ggplot2.

Target audience:

This workshop is suitable for those who know how to use R but are not familiar or comfortable with ggplot2 or would like a refresher on ggplot2.

Learning objectives:

Day 1: Dipping Your Toes into Data Visualization with R

Presented by Emi Tanaka

  • Review of tidy data format
  • Basics of the grammar of graphics
  • Drawing the basic data plot types (barchart, pie chart, histogram, density plot, scatterplot, boxplot) utilising a range of common geoms and variable mappings
  • Choosing colour wisely
  • All about scales, transforming data, setting limits, changing coordinate systems, axis specifications, ordering levels of categorical axes
  • Jazzing up your plot with different themes, plot annotations and combining plots together to make a publication-ready plot

Day 2: Diving Deeper into Data Visualization with R

Presented by Di Cook

  • Check your knowledge, a review of basic plotting with the grammar
  • Expanding your graphics toolbox to mapping, making choropleth maps, using map images as a base
  • Making your plots speak. Adding interactive elements including mouse-over labels, and sliders for controlling parameters, using plotly. Animating plots using gganimate.
  • Learn how to decide on the best plot design for a problem, and how to determine if what you see is a real structure.


Day 1

  • basic R knowledge (e.g. you have used R to load data, create simple visualisations, perform basic analyses and write simple functions or more specifically, you are familiar with concepts in Cookbook for R by Winston Chang)
  • basic statistics (e.g. simple linear regression, hypothesis testing, basic summary statistics and plots)
  • computer (with ability to install R and R-packages), microphone and web camera
  • stable internet connection
  • Install the video conferencing software, zoom and know how to use zoom

Day 2:

  • Day 1 requirements
  • Completed Day 1 OR know basic ggplot2